Eugenics In South Africa

3217 Words13 Pages
Colonial authority was based on the notion that Europeans in the colonies were a biological and social superior entity in comparison to the indigenous people. Types of British identities were engraved in the diverse colonial settings, just as the metropolitan British identities were being forced in relation to “others” (people of dissimilarity) in the 18th and 19th century. Legal and social classifications designated who could or who could not obtain membership to the elite group, and who could become a citizen rather than a subject. In the 17th century the Dutch and the British colonized the previously unexplored South Africa in a drive for modernity. The rapid English domination of the Dutch offspring (known as Boers or Afrikaners) resulted…show more content…
As stated earlier the white monitory felt under threat and fear the extinction of the race as a whole and eugenics was perceive to be their last hope (Reference). Just as Britain had used eugenics in the classification of social status based on race; eugenics enabled the so-called “hereditary defects” to be segregated from society to protect the purity of the white race (Reference). Eugenics lay behind the construction of segregationist ideology in South Africa (Reference) as Professor Susanne Klausen. Each person belonged to the race where the texture of hair and skin color matched (Reference). Furthermore the Hassle on the distinctiveness of different cultures meant the burden of explaining human differences; eugenics was seen as the most efficient way of doing so. It fuelled the physiological reality of racism and enabled it to be institutionalized. Nonetheless, the acceptance of eugenics/ scientific racism into South African was a seamless due to the fact; no one challenged the authority of science or the…show more content…
Although Eugenics did not create the apartheid regime it enabled its development; it was used as a reputable justification for the actions instilled on the “inferior” citizens. The identification and differentiation of the races ensured that racial mixing could be prevented due to the differences it established (for example as stated earlier, differences in intelligence). Furthermore, with the institutionalization of racism, it became hard for citizens of South Africa to challenge the government and its ideology, which resulted in wide spread submissive conformity from the Afrikaaner and white communities alike; the only community able to change the perception of race in South Africa due to their rank in the racial hierarchy. Although, the outcome is unsure on what would have happened in South Africa without the introduction of Eugenics, it is clear that some turmoil would have occurred; however to which extent is unsure. Finally, it can be deduced that the scientific theory of eugenics replaced colonial ideologies in South Africa and furthermore it continued driving racial segregation throughout the formative years in the early apartheid state of South
Open Document